The New Media Program at the University of Maine offers an interdisciplinary course of study in the systems, technologies, history, art, design, and theory of information artifacts and networks. The curriculum enables students to investigate the creative and applied processes essential to this area of study. It prepares students to be technologically capable innovators, articulate thinkers, and creative new media developers.
Today, information is becoming fluid, continuous, and instantly accessible, which has caused a shift in the ways that we create, understand, and distribute information. Information networks are reconfiguring the forms of human relationship, collaboration, and communication. The advent and convergence of new ideas, technologies, and information systems has also rekindled the relationship of applied and creative arts and sciences. This renewed bond presents new collaborative opportunities for artists, scientists, communicators, and other creative thinkers. Our program provides an interdisciplinary, experiential approach to learning that emphasizes creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, and entrepreneurship.
UMaine New Media is taught by a core faculty with expertise in art, graphic design, computer science, engineering, cultural studies, creative writing, and journalism. Cooperating professors from fine art, computer science, music, psychology and English add further dimensions to the Program offerings.
All first-year majors share a common experience studying applied process and theory in New Media foundation courses as well as in other related disciplines. This Year One experience is caped off by a portfolio review conducted by the program faculty. In subsequent years, majors focus on two of the following five areas of concentration:
- Digital Reporting and Documentary Producation — Centers on content-based media production and dissemination using cameras and recorders.
- Information Design — Centers on the intersection of information design, interaction design and sensorial design in development and creation user experiences.
- Narrative Design — Centers on the analysis, design and production of digital narrative, storytelling and performance.
- Time-Based Design - Centers on creative expression in mediums such as installation, digital cinema, animation, audio, enhanced environments, and real-time performance.
- Networks and Distributed Culture- Centers on the study of distributed techniques for building, sharing, and preserving digital culture.
From time to time students from each area of concentration are brought together in courses that explore the collaborative process. A two-part, six-credit senior capstone experience completes the BA. Here, students from each concentration design and produce advanced projects that incorporate such media as Web sites; animated, feature or documentary videos; open source code banks; social, cultural and creative networks; experimental narratives; and interactive games.
New Media majors are encouraged to complete a minor in another field. New Media students also may apply to work in the New Media and Internet Technologies Lab. This is a collaborative environment that designs and produces sophisticated prototypes and projects ranging from Web sites and interactive CD-ROMs to kiosks and video documentaries.
Each New Media major is encouraged to provide his or her own personal laptop computer capable of performing essential functions that are taught in core New Media courses. Purchase of additional hardware and software may be necessary depending on the student’s specialized interests. Minimum specifications for new media computers are available by writing or calling the New Media program office, 426 Chadbourne Hall, (207) 581-4358.
New Media majors must complete a total of 45 core and elective credits. A “C” or better is required in all courses that satisfy New Media major program requirements. COS 125 - Introduction to Problem Solving Using Computer Programming and ENG 317 - Business and Technical Writing are outside-the-major requirements.